Seattle Mariners Set to Test Hitting Theory in Safeco Field

MARINERS (43-57) Δ Ms ROYALS (41-56) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -95.5 (30th) -11.0 -10.7 (20th) Royals
FIELDING (BABIP) 34.3 (4th) -0.2 -39.6 (29th) Mariners
ROTATION (tRA) 0.3 (17th) -2.9 -20.3 (25th) Mariners
BULLPEN (tRA) -2.6 (18th) 0.8 9.7 (8th) Royals
OVERALL (RAA) -63.5 (26th) -13.3 -60.8 (24th) ROYALS
Explainer

The immediate focus is on how the Mariners went another series without scoring very many runs. Only seven in total over the three game set against the Yankees. The other side did not fare much better either though as the Yankees plated 11 runs in the three games. That seems like a bushel and then some compared to what the Mariners usually score, but it's in fact rather scarce for the Yankees' typical offensive output.

A grand total of 18 runs were scored, an average of six per game. It's in the very middle of summer, the weather was couldn't-be-better for each game, one of the teams had a very good offense, there weren't a bunch of Cy Young pitchers on the mound and the games saw an average of six runs total. Safeco Field is going to be the narrative now until it stops being the narrative and the only way for that to happen is for teams to start scoring many more runs in Seattle.

Or Mount Rainier could erupt or something. That would change the narrative because we sure as entropy would not be talking about baseball then.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
J Jaso* 31 3.2 .409/.548/.545 8 4 (3) 8 / 0 / 0 / 1 34 88 128.5
J Montero 48 4.1 .341/.420/.500 3 8 (5) 10 / 4 / 0 / 1 45 78 96.1
M Saunders* 46 3.8 .289/.370/.467 1 10 (9) 9 / 2 / 0 / 2 47 75 143.2
C Wells 59 4.0 .241/.305/.444 5 18 (14) 7 / 3 / 1 / 2 53 67 104.1
K Seager* 57 3.8 .220/.333/.320 7 9 (8) 8 / 2 / 0 / 1 48 84 67.0
I Suzuki* 47 3.7 .261/.292/.370 1 6 (6) 9 / 1 / 2 / 0 52 92 55.9
B Ryan 39 3.7 .194/.231/.333 2 10 (9) 3 / 3 / 1 / 0 51 70 46.2
D Ackley* 53 4.0 .128/.245/.255 6 11 (7) 3 / 1 / 1 / 1 41 85 57.9
C Peguero* 24 3.8 .174/.208/.304 1 10 (10) 3 / 0 / 0 / 1 56 60 163.3
J Smoak^ 47 3.7 .093/.170/.233 4 16 (10) 2 / 0 / 0 / 2 47 70 118.7
M Olivo 23 3.5 .174/.174/.174 0 10 (9) 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 60 63 46.9

P/PA = pitches per PA [avg~3.8], nBB = uBB + HBP, Sw = swinging [avg~45%], Ct = contact [avg~81%], Qual+ = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, higher is better]

It's odd that for a guy with so many walks (eight) in so few attempts (31) in the last two weeks, that John Jaso has seen so few pitches (99) in total.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
A Gordon* 64 3.9 .431/.469/.569 5 9 (7) 18 / 6 / 1 / 0 40 85 99.6
L Cain 51 3.6 .364/.392/.636 4 6 (5) 10 / 3 / 0 / 3 46 83 161.2
B Butler 57 3.8 .327/.386/.577 5 10 (8) 12 / 1 / 0 / 4 40 80 173.1
C Getz* 27 3.3 .346/.370/.423 1 0 (0) 7 / 2 / 0 / 0 45 98 64.2
A Escobar 59 3.9 .298/.339/.474 2 10 (9) 12 / 2 / 1 / 2 52 78 116.7
S Perez 42 3.0 .268/.341/.390 1 4 (3) 8 / 2 / 0 / 1 48 90 82.8
E Hosmer* 52 4.2 .239/.340/.348 6 12 (11) 7 / 3 / 1 / 0 45 82 55.6
M Moustakas* 58 3.4 .268/.310/.375 2 10 (10) 11 / 3 / 0 / 1 52 77 69.2
Y Betancourt 31 3.5 .258/.258/.452 0 3 (2) 4 / 3 / 0 / 1 49 93 91.3
J Francoeur 51 4.5 .184/.216/.347 2 7 (6) 5 / 2 / 0 / 2 54 81 97.5
MARINERS Δ Ms ROYALS EDGE
INFIELD 19.8 (3rd) 0.5 -31.2 (30th) Mariners
OUTFIELD 14.5 (9th) -0.7 -8.4 (21st) Mariners
RBBIP 0.294 (3rd) -.001 0.325 (26th) Mariners
OVERALL 34.3 (4th) -0.2 -39.6 (29th) MARINERS
Explainer

I hope Franklin Gutierrez comes back soon because Carlos Peguero in the outfield full time is 5% interesting and 100% sadface.

26 JUL 19:10

JASON VARGAS* LUIS MENDOZA
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I was thinking about the Mariners' starting rotation as it currently is and the future. Jason Vargas probably isn't part of it. Kevin Millwood certainly isn't and Hisashi Iwakuma is similarly unlikely. With the Mariners being bad and all, prudence would suggest trading all of them. I have no idea if that would be a good idea or not. Trading one, sure, but all three?

At the crux of the matter is whether the value the team could get back from these plaers would be worth whatever hypothetical damage is caused by replacing them in the rotation with players either incapable or unready. Nominally Erasmo Ramirez is coming back soon. Hector Noesi could be recalled. D.J. Mitchell could be thrown in. Charlie Furbush, when he returns, could be given another starting chance. There are bodies available to pick up the slack without rushing the Hultzen, Walker, Paxton brigade, but would they be adequate enough?

I don't know what kind of value Millwood, Iwakuma or Vargas are current attracting in trade negotiations. I do know that I like new and interesting. Trading 60% of the rotation would be new and interesting so I hope Zduriencik does that provided that Felix Hernandez is not in that 60%.

Because, listen here. Seriously. I'm being absolutely serious right now. I know Jeff recently lamented that he might — despite earlier thoughts, be able to go on rooting — following and writing about this team if they traded Felix. I'm not. Emotionally I might be able to. Emotionally I would be able to. I know enough about the human psyche to bet that I, that we all, would adjust and move on. But bolts to that. I am Gaius Laenes and I am drawing my circle in the sand around Zduriencik. You trade Felix and I walk away, Jack. I walk away. For how long I don't know, but until I can be excited by the team again and I look at this roster, and I look at the farm, and if I take away Felix I don't see a lot of excitement, Jack.

27 JUL 19:10

BLAKE BEAVAN JEREMY GUTHRIE
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Congratulations to Jeremy Guthrie for being the first pitcher to register six distinct pitches over the 10% usage mark. Way to clutter the graph, Jeremy. Maybe you should try shooting for quality instead of quantity at some point?

28 JUL 13:10

KEVIN MILLWOOD BRUCE CHEN*
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29 JUL 13:10

FELIX HERNANDEZ WILL SMITH*
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I want the Mariners to announce a contract extension with Felix that includes a mutual no-trade clause. Meaning that Felix can nix any trade and also that the Mariners can't initiate any trade. Or, screw it, give him Joey Votto's contract.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
T Wilhelmsen 46 65.5 4 81.2 12 (7) 50.0 0 42.9 2.5
O Perez* 42 71.3 3 79.5 10 (7) 24.1 0 89.3 1.1
B League 38 59.3 3 75.4 4 (3) 48.4 0 76.0 1.6
S Delabar 38 64.4 4 66.7 12 (10) 50.0 2 136.7 0.7
L Luetge* 32 64.4 1 72.3 10 (7) 57.1 0 60.7 1.9
S Kelley 32 65.5 0 69.1 9 (8) 30.4 1 65.7 1.4
J Kinney 29 60.0 6 68.0 8 (8) 40.0 1 102.1 2.0
C Furbush* 22 68.2 2 73.8 5 (4) 35.7 1 167.2 1.6

Str% = strike rate [avg~63%], Ct% = contact rate [avg~78%], GB% = groundball rate [avg~45%], Qual- = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, lower is better], LI = leverage [avg~1.2]

With the bases loaded and one out last night, Manager Eric Wedge went to Shawn Kelley to face the right-handed Jayson Nix. It was a super high leverage situation and in that case you want to use the team's best reliever to be used. Absent context, that is Tom Wilhelmsen. And so some people were understandably miffed that Wedge used not Tom Wilhelmsen. Understandably miffed, but mistaken.

Context exists and it matters; it matters a whole lot. Consider the following:

1. Shawn Kelley is a really good reliever against right-handers. He might be better than Wilhelmsen in that particular split and is, at worst, a very close second.

2. Shawn Kelley hadn't pitched in days and Tom Wilhelmsen had pitched a lot recently.

I get that many managers do not understand optimal bullpen usage tailored to leverage situations. But managers do know more than you do. Specifically, they know the current state of their pitchers. As it turns out, Wilhelmsen was deemed unavailable for yesterday's game precisely because of his heavy workload recently. Absent that choice, Kelley was the clearly right move. And even if Wilhelmsen was available, it would be a close call, certainly not one carping about.

When you complain about ultimately minute, sometimes trivial points, then you just look like someone who complains about everything. Those people are not fun to be around.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
G Holland 57 64.1 7 76.6 19 (13) 64.5 0 4.5 1.3
E Teaford* 46 65.9 3 80.2 6 (6) 45.9 1 128.5 0.8
K Herrera 45 67.1 3 82.4 9 (9) 59.4 0 46.1 1.2
T Collins* 45 60.8 5 80.5 13 (9) 29.6 3 171.0 1.0
L Coleman 39 64.3 5 72.2 14 (11) 10.5 2 121.0 0.6
A Crow 37 58.5 2 76.9 9 (8) 53.8 1 102.1 1.2
J Broxton 30 61.4 4 85.0 3 (3) 60.9 0 81.7 2.6
J Mijares* 30 64.1 3 86.2 7 (4) 40.0 0 69.9 1.1
V Mazzaro 20 60.8 2 85.3 4 (4) 50.0 1 174.6 0.4

Series Drink: Scotch & Soda
I'm going to exaggeratedly be a snob here in order to stir a debate. Here are the acceptable mixers with scotch, or whisky in general: none, ice, water, soda water, ginger beer/ale, or maybe, maybe vermouth. That's it. No, cola is not okay you heathen. You can put all the rum you want in that, but don't trash the taste of whisky with your inferior mixer. What is wrong with you? You probably even use a lobster pick to dig out the meat from lobster claws when every true highborn person knows you have the help do that for you.

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